Reggae Girlz to open Concacaf Women’s Championship against hosts Mexico
Jamaica’s Khadija Shaw (second right) celebrates with her teammates after scoring against the Dominican Republic during the Women’s World Cup qualifying match at Sabina Park in Kingston on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (Photo: Observer file)

Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz will begin their hunt for a second-consecutive Fifa Women’s World Cup berth in hostile territory as host nation Mexico is first in their line of sight at the Concacaf Women’s Championship.

After previously conducting the group draws last month, Concacaf on Thursday released the full schedule for the July 4-18 tournament in Monterrey, which pits the Jamaicans against the hosts on the first day of action in Group A at Estadio Universitario.

World Champions United States and another Caribbean team, Haiti, are also in Group A, while Group B comprises Olympic champions Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The revamped Concacaf Women’s Championship is a key part of the confederation’s new women’s senior national team ecosystem. It started in 2021 and continues through to 2024, providing all participating member associations with an opportunity to compete for the confederation’s four spots to the World Cup.

After squaring off against the 27th-ranked Mexico, the Girlz, ranked at number 51 in the world, will then tackle top-ranked United States on July 7 at Estadio BBVA, before closing the group stages against the 61st-ranked Haitians at the same venue on July 11.

At the end of round robin play, the top two teams from each group will not only move on to the semi-finals, but will also qualify directly to next year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the third-placed teams in each group will qualify for the Fifa Intercontinental Play-off.The Concacaf Women’s Championship semi-finals are scheduled for July 14 at Estadio Universitario, with the final and third-place match to be played on July 18 at Estadio BBVA. These will be played in a single elimination format, with the tournament winner qualifying for both the 2024 Paris Olympics and the inaugural Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, also to be held in 2024. The runner-up and third-placed teams will also square off in a Concacaf Olympic play-in series scheduled for September 2023. The winner of that play-in series will also qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics and the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup.

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